Jack Forest Thomas went missing somewhere around the 15th of June 2016. He was 66 years old, 5’8, 170 Ibs. He was likely wearing a blue windbreaker, purple long-sleeved shirt, high-top hiking boots, a San Francisco Giants baseball cap. He always wore a silver chain necklace with a silver ring.
Jack Forest Thomas was last seen on the Idaho Continental Trail (Trail 452). He was last spotted just past Fern Falls and Pitchforth Creek. Before Elk Lake at 11.15 am. Jack was supposed to return home on the 16th of June 2016 but he never returned. Jack Forest Thomas was reported missing by his family and a gruelling two-week search started.
Local police, search and rescue, canine and a helicopter searched the area for two weeks but came up with nothing. When Sheffie scaled down the search his family started a funding page to bring in outside help.
Around July 2016 the family contacted the none-profit The Jon Francis Foundation. They assist in the search for people lost in the wilderness. It was planned a 14-day search with multiple dogs and ground crews. No update was ever provided on this search but Jack Forest Thomas still remains lost in the wilderness. Or does he?
Also in his possession was a grey Camelback backpack, an ice axe, and an orange and black SPOT Gen3 Tracker GPS location beacon. I found this interesting because it’s the first recorded case we have where the person had a PBL (Personal Locator Beacon) The fact this was never activated means whatever happened to Jack Thomas was swift and totally unexpected.
The trail Thomas was on does not appear difficult. The area he was last seen does cross next to the water. If you fell in you would be swept downstream but why was he never found. You wouldn’t be swept downstream far. The river is filled with old logs which would snag a body. I’m going to add a new tag (PBL) so we can track people who vanished with beacons.